Saturday, January 9, 2010

You lack the brains to know that 4 simultaneous days rotate in an imaginary cubed Earth.

Isn't it pointless to stop eating factory-produced meat, since one person won't make much difference and will never change the world this way, and because it's impossible to convince others when you can't even convince yourself?

Do you secretly hope for an environmental catastrophe big enough to finally prove that global warming is real and that you were right all along, but even more secretly fear that deniers will still say that it isn't anthropogenic, or that deaths and suffering will quickly be forgotten as the extreme right continues to extol the virtues of the new hotter world?

Don't you hate it when you argue about the existence of god and prove your case flawlessly, but then people discover the existence of consciousnesses in the universe that dwell in scales of size and time that are completely beyond our own experiences, and then people say, "See? That's God!", but really they cheated because that's not at all what they described when they were talking about their God, which really isn't fair.

How do you effect change in a world that stupidly, stupidly refuses to agree with you?

Hint: It doesn't matter whether you're right or not; all that matters is what's important to you.


There's an old saying by Oprah -- I know it's by Gandhi, probably by Oprah -- that says:
"You must be the change you want to see in the world."

Of course that means that you can't change the world without changing yourself first. But, it can also mean that by changing yourself, you are changing your world.

We each live in our own world. Our world is everything we're aware of, everything we choose to be a part of, everything we experience. Modern living and global news networks make us think that the entire planet is our world, but that's not true. You can let the news tell you what's important to you, and you can take on the entire world's problems (big and small) as your own, but you don't have to. You can tune out, and tune into a different world, make your world the world you want it to be, not by changing everything around you to your liking, but changing yourself to see the world you want to. You can make your world smaller, small enough to be able to make a difference in it.

How does this work?

Suppose you're in a grocery store and you simply read the ingredients on a package of meat, because you're concerned about what's in it ("right view and intention"). You've then already started changing the world. Suppose it contains "pork by-products" and "sodium nitrite", and because this sounds unappealing, you put it back ("right action"). You've changed your perspective on your world, and though it may change back, you might instead never take for granted what you buy and put in your mouth.

Without having to force yourself to do anything, you may find yourself interested in what's in everything you're eating. You may notice things that make you feel healthy and things that make you feel unhealthy, and end up changing your diet. You will see advertisements differently, being aware of some of the things they don't tell you, and decide what you want based more on your own decisions than on persuasion. This way of thinking will affect all your purchases, not just pork vs. no pork. You can escape the world of consumerism, and enter a smaller world where there is more intelligent thought put into what you buy. And that will spread from what you buy to what you do, in different aspects of life. Pretty soon your world is very different. You may not have shut down a hog factory, or convinced anyone not to eat meat, or even stopped doing so yourself, but you'll have changed your own world in ways that make a much bigger difference on your own life.

Last week Some time ago was Buy-Nothing Day. Are your spending habits different than they were a few years ago? Do you feel more conscious of what you buy, and what you do?


If you want to change the larger world around you, I'd suggest helping enable people to change their own worlds, rather than fighting against people who seem to be content with a world you want changed. Work for increasing people's freedoms and education, and then leave it up to them to change their own worlds.


bobisimo said...

I don't believe anything will change. Ever. Nothing will change. Everything will remain as it is. Unchanging. Except when it changes. Possibly because two or three empowered individuals decide to make it so.

Education and opportunity is enough to get a few people to be scoffed at in derision by their other-ly-acting peers. Maybe at best they'll be post-humorously [sick!] awarded.

Everything we change on a personal level is subject to review and critique and results determined from the larger world around us. We can decide that the smarter decision is to cut carbs and subsist on meat, but our hearts may say otherwise. We may determine everything in moderation and nothing to excess is a worthy goal. Or cutting calories. Or reaching for the golden ratio of 40 granules or fibrous fibers per days. Or downloading 4.7 jiggawatts of blu-ray DVDs in violation of copyright.

I suppose it can only occur as a positive if we personally define it as a positive, regardless of citations from wikipedia editors. Maybe we can define being jailed as a reward and vindication for uprighteous behavior. And then be punished in death with 69 virgins because God loves Republicans.

Negativity is so negative. I hates it. It hates us. It burns. It needs us.

Michael Devine said...

Everything changes. Except change. And taxes? Except when they go up.

The world is constantly trying to interfere with our lives, both to help us live more easily, and to control and use us. Others will fight for your rights; others will try to make you live how they want you to. It SEEMS impossible to truly escape the influence of the world, unless you can adopt that Gandhi attitude of not being a slave to others' control, no matter what: "We shall feel happy and free like a bird even behind the prison walls." HOWEVER, anyone CAN adopt that attitude, fully or in small ways. That's where education and freedom comes in... if people can change their lives and they know it, then at some point it's up to them to choose to do it. Anyone can change their attitude, and embrace the freedom in their lives instead of being "switched off" and being herded by convention, government, media, habit, etc.

Everything may be reviewed and critiqued but you don't have to care. For sure, the more control others have over you, the harder it is to escape. If you're out of the rat race, it's easy to say "Hey! I can do what I want!" If you don't have money in the bank people will say "We noticed you can't afford to pay for anything so we're going to charge you an Insufficient Funds Fee, which basically means we think you should give us some money just because you have none."

I don't think it's about defining things positively vs negatively, but about not defining them at all. Evaluation of your life is a personal thing; what others think of it only matters to the degree you let it. Also the way we choose to live is a personal thing, regardless of if others put us in jail or tell us to buy a Slap Chop (I hear they suck by the way cuz the junk gets all jammed up in the blades). Given whatever situation you're in, you can make the most of it, or you can just do what's expected. However, realizing you have control of your attitude doesn't take much effort, once you start.